SS Casino

Nationality: Australian

Vessel type: Auxiliary screw steamer

Date lost: Sunday 10th July, 1932

Cause of loss: Vessel fell on its anchor when trying to berth in rough sea

Number of Casualties: 10 drowned

Discovery date: 10/7/1932

Location/water depth: Apollo Bay, Victoria, 6 metres depth

The BKSN’s SS Casino was three weeks short of 50 years of continuous service when disaster struck. She departed Melbourne for Western ports with 2 passengers, 17 crew and cargo.


At Apollo Bay, the heavy seas and wind made berthing difficult. To bring Casino alongside, the captain dropped an anchor. The sea carried the vessel over the anchor, and in the following trough, the anchor fluke pierced the hull.


Unaware, the captain abandoned his attempt and steamed away. The ship began to list to port and was turned towards the beach. The list increased, and the lifeboats launched were swamped.

Water flooded the hold and 370 metres from the beach, the ship rolled.


The five crew below were drowned. The others swam for shore. The captain and four crew returned to the hull, but were swept away in the rising tide before help could arrive.   


Casino’s Able Seamen not forgotten

Mrs Foley and Mrs Murray, widowed, with 13 and 10 dependent children respectively, were destitute. The Seamen’s Union, and the Argus, facilitated the Casino Homes Appeal for houses for the widows. 


Over ₤700 was raised from donors in Melbourne, Apollo Bay, Port Fairy and Portland, and two houses purchased for them.    

SS Casino in the River Moyne, departing Port Fairy  Port Fairy Historical Society

Voyage log, SS Casino noting arrival and departure times, Port Fairy Historical Society

Belfast & Koroit Steam Navig. Coy, flag from ss Casino, Apollo Bay Historical Society

SS Casino life preserver, Apollo Bay Historical Society

Watercolour of SS Casino, Port Fairy Library 

Voyage departure sign,SS Casino, Apollo Bay Historical Society

SS Casino saloon chair, Port Fairy Historical Society

SS Casino steam whistle, Port Fairy Historical Society

SS Casino propeller at memorial for lost crew at Port Fairy

SS Casino wheel, Apollo Bay Hotel


Objects of interest (artefacts, images or other collection items) associated with the shipwreck story.

Port Fairy

  • Casino propeller and Memorial

Port Fairy Historical Society  

  • Casino steam whistle
  • Saloon chair
  • Dinner plate
  • Summary ships’ log (arrival & departures times)
  • Derrick mounting
  • Painting of vessel
  • Photographic image collection

Apollo Bay Historical Society

  • Sailing advice board
  • Life preserver
  • B&KSN house flag    
  • Apollo Bay Hotel    
  • Wheel
  • Binnacle
  • Navigation lights

AMMC Member Institution

Port Fairy Historic Lifeboat Station

submitted by Marten Syme

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